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bsw - Build Static Web, a simple static website builder.

Project description


bsw - Build Static Website, a simple static website generator.

Usage (the short version)

usage: [-h] [-C] [-s] [--init [PATH]] [--template TEMPLATE]

bsw - build static website

optional arguments:
  -h, --help           show this help message and exit
  -C, --clean          remove existing build folder before building
  -s, --serve          serve content after build (default port 8000)
  --init [PATH]        initialise a new bsw site as the specified path
  --template TEMPLATE  built-in template to use with --init

Nice and simple.

Getting Started

bsw works on the current directory, and expects a couple of folders to exist:

  • pages

  • templates

To get started, we’ll need to create these folders and add a base template (the primary site template) to the templates folder.

$ bsw --init mynewsite
$ cd mynewsite
$ bsw --serve

Open <a href=”http://localhost:8000/about”>http://localhost:8000/about</a> in your browser and you’ll see your new site, ready to go.

bsw will read all the *.html and *.htm files inside the pages directory (recursively) and render them using the templates in the templates folder (using base.html by default if a page doesn’t have a template directive). The rendered pages will then be saved to the build folder (which will be created if needed).

Variables in page (e.g. <!-- page_title = "my page title" -->) are placed into the templates at the placeholders (e.g. $page_title). It’s easy to add your own, and you can see a great example of this in the sample blog template and blog post.

The best way to learn the syntax is to take a look at the example pages and templates. They’re purposefully very simple and should be easy to pick up.

Static content

bsw will copy any files in static/ and templates/static/ to to the combined build/static/ folder where they can easily be referenced by your page or template content. For example, reference the templates/static/logo.png file on your template or page as so: <img src="/static/logo.png">.

Static folders are completely optional and both template and site statics are accessed from the same combined folder.


You can include reusable pieces of markup by using include directives.

You must place all includes in templates/includes/.

For example, let’s create an include with a link to the bsw project repository on GitHub:

$ mkdir templates/includes
$ echo <<EOF > templates/include/github_links.html
> <p>
> <a href=""></a>
> </p>

We can now reference this include from any of our page or template files by adding the following directive to the page markup:

<!-- include("github_links.html") -->


Why are there two static folders?

bsw looks for two static folders:

  • static/

  • templates/static/

This allows you to keep your template static files separate from your page static files, making it easier to reuse your template on other sites.

However, the use of either (or both) static folders is completely optional.

How do I create a template?

Templates are extemely simple. The default template for any page which doesn’t explicitly specify a template is templates/base.html.

It requires only a single tag:


The content from each .html or .htm file in pages/ is inserted into the base template at the $page_content tag.

Pages can also pass values to the template, for example, you template could contain the following:

    <title>My Example Blog | $page_title</title>

You can populate the $page_title variable for any page by declaring it in a comment in the page markup, as follows:

<!-- page_title = "My first blog post! -->

The only template tag which is required is the ``$page_content`` tag.

How do I use multiple templates?

Additional templates can be created in the templates folder and referenced from pages by using the special template page variable as so: <!-- template = "my_special_case_template.html" -->

The <!-- template ... --> variable can appear anywhere in the page content (it doesn’t need to be placed at the top of the file).

Any page which doesn’t explicitly specify a template will use the base template templates/base.html.

How do I deploy my site?

Your hosting environment will vary, but deployment is as simple as copying the contents of the build folder to somewhere accessible on your web server.

Popular workflows include using rsync (copying only files which have changes) or git (handy if you already keep the site source content in a git repository).

I updated my template or CSS but the change isn’t reflected in a new build. Why?

By default, bsw won’t overwrite existing files in your build folder. This is to avoid potentially longer build times on sites with lots of static content (for example, large images or downloads). Try running bsw --clean or manually delete the build file you’d like to regenerate.

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